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Young Enterprise eco-warriors turn rubbish into stylish kitchen accessoriesJanuary 30th, 2017
Emerging entrepreneurs have come up with a practical, cutting-edge idea for recycling empty milk bottles.
The eight-strong team from Monmouth School will be turning donated plastic into unique chopping boards under their company name, Polymade.
They have established the eco-friendly firm to enter into a national Young Enterprise competition.
With all eight boys taking on different roles, the scheme gives them hands-on, real life experience of what it’s like to run a business.
Mahfuz, 16, is Polymade’s Director of Marketing.
He said: “We wanted to set up a business that everyone could relate to. Everyone goes through milk, so people are bound to have empty bottles lying around. They either get recycled or put into black bin bags and we never see what happens to them afterwards.
“There are a lot of chopping boards on the market, but none which are made like this.”
The boys are able to collect around 80 empty milk bottles a week from the school’s boarding houses to bring their idea to life in the DT department.
Hamad, 17, is the company’s Sales Representative.
He said: “Plastic isn’t biodegradable and a lot of it goes to landfills, so we became creative with it.
“The chopping boards are all unique, no two are alike. The red and green tops give them a speckled finish which really makes them stand out.”
The team has access to an industrial shredder and sheet press in Monmouth School’s DT workshop, where they have perfected the design through trial and error.
Thanks to feedback from teachers and members of the public at a Christmas market, where the boys manned a stand to introduce people to the product, they feel they could be on to a winner.
Hamad added: “So far I’ve learned operating a business is not as easy as you think. Lots of work goes into it before you can start selling your product.
“Organisation and good teamwork are key – you have to be a team player to make it work.
“We meet once a week but we’re always in touch with new ideas through our group on Whatsapp.
“A few people have already invested in shares in the company and we’re really excited about it – our product is very niche and we think it could really sell.
“We also get a lot of help from Delyth Harris, our mentor, who runs Gwalia Consulting Ltd in Monmouth. She gives us good business advice, helps us to clean up our act and become more professional.”
The boys plan to ask local shops to stock their kitchen accessories, and hope to see them in Salt & Pepper’s window eventually.
Mahfuz added: “You have to rely on people to get stuff done when you’re running a business. You have to put lots of trust into each other. Every decision is important and you learn from every failure.”
To follow Polymade’s progress, follow the company on Instagram, @polymade.ye, and on Twitter, @Polymade_YE